As America Dumbs Down, Brazil Shows Its Smarts With Ethanol, Oil & Books: One Lucky Author is Reaping the Rewards
Parts of this story were originally reported by the Los Angeles Times. The daily newspaper provides information on local news, business, sports, politics, science, environment, entertainment and lifestyle. The full story can be found at: www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story
As the United States struggles through a series of financial catastrophes, failed energy policies, and embarassing Palin politics, Brazil has become a shining star – a model for economic growth and wisdom in the 21st century. Ethanol and oil are fueling Brazil’s turnaround, and the swelling middle class is using its money wisely: People are buying books.
The book business is thriving in Brazil, where self-improvement is the rage. Bestselling author Steven Carter may be the first American to profit from from Brazil’s success story. For the past 102 weeks, Carter has seen his name on the biggest bestseller lists in Brazil, including lists from Veja Magazine, Epoca Magazine, and Folha de S. Paulo. Some weeks he has been outselling authors like J.K. Rowling and Barack Obama. And when he visits Brazil, he is treated more like a rock star than like an author.
Two of Steven Carter’s self-help classics, “What Smart Women Know” and “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves” are flying off the shelves in bookstores across Brazil. But, for Carter, things are just getting started. Next year, his most successful book, “Men Who Can’t Love” will be released in Brazil at the very same moment it will appear in Katherine Heigl’s next film, The Ugly Truth. This is the third film for “Men Who Can’t Love”, a book which made its first on-screen appearance in ‘When Harry Met Sally’, followed later by its scene-stealing presence in the Julia Roberts/Brad Pitt film ‘The Mexican’.
Steven Carter appeared at the Bienal Internacional do Livros in Sao Paulo last month for a series of book signings. The Bienal is the largest book fair in the world, with almost one million visitors. Carter has recently committed to appear at the Bienal every year until all of his titles are released in Brazil.
“Ethanol and oil have transformed Brazil,” observes Carter, “but literacy will make those changes permanent.” “This forward-thinking country is making the rest of us look quite foolish,” he continued, “Americans better start reading if they want to keep succeeding.”
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